Here are Sasha Brown’s tips to help get children into the routine – and help you avoid some of the battles at home.
Set homework time
Preferably pick the same times each week. Some children work best straight from school, others prefer to rest first. You might have a family rule that homework is completed by Friday to have a weekend off, or Sunday evenings may be best for it.
Have a designated space where children can work
Ideally it should be a flat surface where you can keep pens/paper handy and is free from distractions. Turn off the TV and make sure there are no games consoles nearby. Discuss with your child that this is their work space and see what they find helpful; they may want you nearby for support or work best with the radio on. Look at local library times if extra information is needed. Check homework diaries.
Choose some incentives with your child to encourage them. Give lots of positive praise. Try using descriptive praise rather than just ‘well done’. This could be ‘I like the colours you’ve used for that picture’ or ‘you’ve worked out that maths problem very clearly’. This also gives positive attention to your child rather than leading them to need to misbehave to get attention during homework time. If your child refuses to complete homework, try smaller blocks of time.
Remember not to get too stressed by homework as this will only make your child feel stressed about it too! Try to make it a positive experience. If a particular space or time isn’t working for your child then review it.
Community Family Care, based at Staunton, helps families, children and young people in need of additional support. It seeks to improve parents’ confidence, help with routines to get children to school, or more complex support dealing with challenging behaviour.